Late Night Cheap Speculation Open Thread: Who *Does* Fund The Federalist?

Admitted plagiarist and general internet nuisance Ben Domenech is the founder, editor, and biggest booster of a left-twitter punching bag known as The Federalist. Since I am not the only person who thinks of The Federalist as a kind of wingnut-wurlitzer sink trap, watching its public face throw a nutty on twitter is always mildly entertaining…

… The path of conservative media has largely mirrored the challenges of digital and print news operations broadly over the last decade, with wild experimentation in form and content, waves of consolidation, and a series of high-profile collapses…

And others have adapted to [Trump’s] rise and his style. The Daily Caller went populist, amplifying Trump’s anti-immigrant politics. Ben Shapiro’s Daily Wire remained skeptical of the president but drew a huge following “owning” his liberal enemies. The Federalist followed a version of this second path.

The site launched in 2013. In a post introducing the outlet, publisher Ben Domenech compared its mission to that of the original Time magazine, which “aimed to cover and distill the news of politics, economics, world affairs, and culture for the nation’s rising middle class.” The site published a wide-ranging group of writers on a variety of political and cultural topics. Over the years, it has adapted to the Trump moment by criticizing perceived excesses of his detractors in the media and relentlessly questioning the Russia investigation.

Unlike some peers and more like Breitbart, which only revealed its ownership structure under pressure from a committee from which it was seeking congressional press credentials, the Federalist has been resolutely opaque about its finances. The site is owned by a private company and doesn’t have to disclose its ownership or funding structure; its parent company, FDRLST Media, was incorporated as a limited liability company in Delaware in 2016. And the omertà on the topic has prompted a considerable amount of speculation in the political media world, with the phrase “Who funds the Federalist?” becoming a recurring meme, often tweeted at the site’s top brass. The Federalist has winked at the controversy, selling at one point an “I Fund the Federalist” T-shirt.

Despite the air of mystery, publicly available information does shed some light on some of the Federalist’s financials, though it’s not necessarily the full picture — or anything that explains why the secret has been so closely guarded…

I personally assume Ben’s mother-in-law Cindy McCain is using her personal $200 million fortune to keep Domenech busy and out of her basement, because hell, given the option, wouldn’t you?

5 replies
  1. 1
    Dan B says:

    So do I have this right? Cindy Mc Cain supports, or may be funding, a site that would be a-okay with Cucinelli / Miller saying her husband shouldn’t have been an American citizen because he was born in Panama. Does she not understand that rigid ideology eats its followers or crashes over the cliff because it can’t turn the wheel or put on the brakes?
    There are blind spots on the left of the political spectrum, I lived through the 60’s and 70’s, but the left was out strategized by 40+ years of the Powell Memorandom and is not a terrifying influence in America. She’s a sad illustration of why idividuals should not have massively disparate influence in a society. Few manage to transcend the corruption of ego with a huge budget and “yes people” drawn to the honeypot.
    Add in the vewwy sensitive conservative men and we’ve got a situation.

  2. 2
    satby says:

    Doesn’t seem that 200 million is enough to keep pissing away on a vanity project and still have all the little perks that wealthy people like to have. Still, the rich are different. And kinda stupid, honestly.

  3. 3
    biff murphy says:

    “because hell, given the option, wouldn’t you”
    When you put it like that, fuck yeah!

  4. 4
    Chip Daniels says:

    @Dan B:
    No matter how draconian the law, the McCains of the world are never bound by it.

    The wives and mistresses of the GOP will always have access to a doctor to take care of an unwanted pregnancy, and the right sort of white people will always become American citizens regardless of their place of birth.

  5. 5
    Ruckus says:

    @Chip Daniels:
    And they will forever do this as long as the money is flowing in their direction. Said direction is down hill, which is the only reason it flows that way, there is no value to their largess and a definite smell of bullshit and whining because it’s never enough to pay the world for them to be whatever it is they desire, which is better than everyone else. Because they never are better, only far worse.

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